Hard strida love


I used to have an old Enfield retro gents bike, which I rode to the station from home. So many times I came back and it had suffered minor acts of vandalism while locked up.

Then one night I got home pissed, so walked home leaving it chained up. Big mistake. Came back in the morning to find it reduced to metal spaghetti. Wheels buckled, kicked to cr*p, the whole thing. Nice eh?

So I thought, right I’m going to get me a folder. I immediately knew I wanted something between the A-Bike and a Brompton. Of course it didn’t take me long to find the Strida, and it was love at first sight.

I decided to jump in with one foot, and get a second hand one from ebay. I didn’t really know much about the differences between the versions then, so I ended up with Strida 2. Well worn, but working for £97. Not bad. First, I hated it, then little by little, I began to love it. Once you get used to being a walking/riding novelty, it’s ok.

Ok, that is, unless you have an accident. Riding along, feeling chipper, until some tw*t pulled out at a round-about. So of course I pulled the brakes and soon found myself sliding face down along the wet road. Can you guess? The ball came out of the socket under braking, and it nearly killed me.


As I wheeled my now twisted and forlorn steed gingerly back home, I wondered what my best route back to Strida heaven would be. I’m not doing too badly financially, but my wife is pregnant, and in this climate, I am hesitant to spend £400+ on a bike.

Searching ebay again, I came across a “Strida 5 style bike” which turned out to be a black Yongkang Strda. I did a lot of looking and finally came across some personal accounts of these rip-offs which encouraged me to take the plunge and part with the £120 to get my hands on it.

Well I’ve had it for a while now, and it’s pretty damn good, I have to say. I make no comment about the morality or legality. I’m not here to discuss that.

Lesson 2: Not all fakes are bad.

I have to say, I read a lot about this subject here and elsewhere and I would like to say that some people, including MAS himself, made a number of generalised comments about ‘fakers don’t care’ this, and ‘build quality’ that, but I’m here to call BS. Not all genuine articles are better quality, and not all purveyors of forgeries and copies are morally bankrupt.



Good luck with the fake Strida. The Strida3 onwards was much improved over the Strida2 (which are now nearly 10 years old). From your message you appear to be sore at Strida as your old bike gave you problems - but how do you know it wasn’t already damaged or warn ? I have found Strida to be most helpful for advice and spares, they stand by their products if they are given chance to.

I had a close look at a fake Strida5. It was a Strda or Striga ?? , with no markings. I have an original Strida5, love it and wanted a cheap 2nd bike. The copy looked great, but there were several things I found which you must check -

  1. Screws are all very soft so threads are easily stripped - I tried to adjust the seat, and when I re-tightened the top screw the screw just kept turning … threads stripped.
  2. The Steering Pin where the bottom tube fits has a 2nd set of screws but is loose so rocks back and forth. Mine is rock solid. With time and use those screws will wear the aluminium, get looser and looser. This also makes the frame feel very flexy - probably better than the Strida 2 but no way as tight as a real strida5.
  3. the brakes are quite different - and very ineffective (but mine are probably too good !!).
  4. The Front pulley teeth do not properly match the belt teeth - so the drive creaks and clicks and sometimes jumps - I can remember if it had the correct snubber bearing on the back pulley … but it certainly was not doing its job.
  5. The crank axle was mounted in plastic - this felt sloppy and sort of defeated the improvement of Strida5 going to all metal bottom bracket.
  6. The wheels had many loose spokes - so check those
  7. The wheel hubs were made by welding what looks like steel - mine are nice machined aluminium.
  8. the magnet to hold the bike together was pretty useless - this was a killer deal for me as the whole point of the Strida is to be able to roll it along when folded on its wheels and if they keep coming apart all the time it would be pretty useless.

Bottom line is wether buying 2nd hand or Fake, you get what you pay for ! From What I saw for similar or a bit more money I’d go for a 2nd hand, but original Strida3 or Strida5 before a new fake Strga (or whatever they are called). The bike was for my son so safety is important, But if you are up for keeping an eye on the above stuff you’ve got a bargain !!


First, I have nothing against Strida, so I don’t know where you got that idea from. I wanted to warn others about what had happened to me.

I’ll spend some more time with the bike and write back with my findings regarding your points of detail, but I will say so far is that;

  • The screws are not soft
  • There is no rocking in the frame, it is very solid compared to the Strida 2
  • The breaks are effective
  • The crank axle is not sloppy
  • There are no loose spokes
  • The magnet works great

As I say, I will provide more detail as I go along, but I strongly suspect we are talking about different fakes.

Believe me, I have no axe to grind, and I am reporting solely in the interest of fair and honest judgement.

Best wishes.

Update: Strida vs Strda vs Striga

Just to let you know, I wanted to see about this Striga, so I found out that they are made in Thailand by 1stSIAM, and are not the same as the Strda’s made at Yongkang in China.

You said the Striga has no markings, but the Strda has a big ‘S’ on the front of the front tube.

And to further address some of your points for the sake of comparison:

  • The wheels on the Strda are not steel, they are alloy
  • The belt teeth match the gears perfectly - no slips under full power up hill

Just to clarify further my comments about buying second hand: what I said was, I wouldn’t buy a Strida 2 second hand, because I strongly feel they carry a serious design flaw. It may be a 10 year old bike, but bikes should last longer than 10 years IMHO.

I would be very happy to buy a second hand Strida 3.2 or 5, it’s just that there wasn’t one available for purchase when I bought my Strda.

You get what you pay for - if that was universally true, there would be no bargains and no inflated prices.

Best wishes.

Hi James
I didn’t mean to diss you … quite the opposite … I said ‘sore’ tongue in cheek :smiley: … after your fall. I guess as Mark Sanders doesn’t get royalties any more now Ming own the patents, he is not too unhappy about fakes, as it gets the Strida to more people, his original intention. Hec, I want to buy a good fake Strida as a low cost 2nd bike (thanks for the Tailand connections BTW … any links ??).

As a rule, I prefer to buy original and will always try to (cash allowing). I know the costs that go into proper materials, certification, testing as well as retailers 40-50% (but we cant always bypass these - even my wife works for retail company so we rely on those shops margins).

To say Strida has a design fault is a bit rich tho’, and not true, as all Strida1 and 2’s had a similar joint, I had one. It DOES need adjustment and if it has been damaged (eg by bad folding which forces the ball out on ANY Strida (or fake) … the stretched parts should be replaced).

Anyway, do please post detailed pictures when you can - it does sound like your bike is a better copy than the one I saw - the key test would be to compare yours with a real Strida5 and and look
out for differences, in construction, and feel. But do take care - the people making this, like any fake have NO interest in your safety … they just want to make money. But if you (or I) have the mechanical confidence to check their work, and make adjustments as necessary it could well be an alternative.

Good Luck ! (and dont forget the pictures)

Surely the point here is not that it’s not possible for a fake to match the quality of the original, but rather that there is no guarantee that it will match the quality of the original. If you buy the real deal, and it has a defect or in some way does not live up to the claims of the manufacturer, you have recourse. Sounds like James got lucky, so congrats to him.


I just bought a strida fake from ebay. £110. It works very well and so far seems well enough put together for the money. The wheels need minor truing, the belt was a bit on the tight side and the bottom bracket creaked under hill climbing levels of power, but apart from minor tinkering like a drop of WD40 on the BB plastic shell to cure the creak, belt adjustment and minor effort with a spoke key it looks like it will be a lot of fun for next to no money.

By the way, there are at least 8 factories turning these out in China and they will not all be the same quality. Having said that, this bike is probably the easiest bike to make that I ever had. I can’t see why the official Strida made in Taiwan by Ming Cycles has to retail in the UK at £450. That’s just a greedy supply chain surely for three tubes, minimal welding and two wheels and a plastic pulley wheel or two.

I don’t mean to be provocative. I’ve learned a lot about Stridas from reading this forum, for which I thank you all.

V interesting.
A proper Strida5 costs 380 or less in UK not 450. Still a big difference, but generally you pay for what you get. You sound like you know your way around tools so this is an option for you but not everyone.

I am suspicious of fake makers - these are the same people who make fake baby milk in china, and don’t care if it kills a few kids.

With respect Strida Fan that’s a hell of a generalisation.

China is a massive manufacturing economy with all kinds of operators. You would be right to say that it is to a large extent unregulated, but claiming that engineering companies are the same as the contaminated baby milk suppliers is a bit rich mate. The adulterated milk products were the fault of malpractice in the milk supply chain at collection cooperatives level where they added melamine to raise the apparent protein level. What has misbehaviour around the rural milk collecting tanks got to do with bike manufacture? Recently, there has been a scandal of dioxins found in Irish pork - some animal feed manufacturer has allowed contamination, maybe by fuel oil, maybe by plastics being ground up in feed. The pork has been contaminated. Does that mean that we need to denounce all Irish food and industrial products?

I think we need to make our decisions on the basis of what we have in front of us. These bikes are made as I said by at least eight different factories. Some will be better than others. Some may be very poor. The one I have has one or two shortcuts. I dropped mine today and broke the luggage rack. It doesn’t look like a great rack, but I didn’t buy it for the rack. I have also dumped the pedals and substituted some spare non folding ones. I like a good spiked metal pedal when riding in this wet old country here - less likely to slip. In general though, the bike is good value. If more stuff proves badly put together, you can be sure I’ll let you know.

Another point you make is important. You mention having familiarity with tools. I think that anyone who isn’t examining ANY bike carefully on a regular basis or having someone competent do it for them, is taking a real risk of serious injury or at the least, very inconvenient failure.

By the way, you can get an white coloured strida for £398, but a coloured one is £419. The nearest outlet to me offers them at £390 and £429. I was twenty quid out. I apologise.

Interesting. On the original Strida, I believe that the bolt for the rack is actually an essential part for holding the seat clamp on the tube. (Somewhere I read that someone couldn’t get the seat clamp to stay on properly without mounting the rack.) I wonder if you will notice any issues around this, or if it’s not an issue with your copy.

Hey - thanks. I was looking at that empty hole and trying to decide whether its bolt was important in keeping my backside off the ground. :slight_smile:

The metal clamps and bolts look crucial, but I’ll maybe look to finding a way to putting that bolt back in. Maybe I’ll source a shorter one just to clamp the lower end of the seat tube. It would have to help keep it more rigid. On the other hand, I am nowhere near the maximum weight figure, being around 165 pounds, so maybe it isn’t a major issue. Still - one should not take too many liberties in departing from the specifications. :smiley: I’m aware that that remark may seem funny to some who would regard this unknown copy as a total departure from those already. I’m just treating my riding like a 1950s test pilot… fly it, keep alert, and see what happens. So far its a great deal of fun, though I do feel a little silly spinning out at about 13 miles an hour. My Brompton knock off goes up to 20mph before that happens, but obviously its a different animal. I’ve had a tremendous amount of reliable use out of that bike, but it was three times the cost so it is pretty well made.

I’m just treating my riding like a 1950s test pilot… fly it, keep alert, and see what happens. So far its a great deal of fun,:smiley: tally Ho, … I take it you mean a Vulcan Bomber test pilot … another flying triangle :smiley:

I wouldn’t worry about that lower rack screw, it is just for the rack - I run my bike without rack as i prefer a back pack. The only thing I miss is the stand built into the rack (but you can always prop the bike up against something with its brake levers locked (if you have the little loops from the ends of the handle bars).

The most important things (sorry to repeat) in seat mounting area are the 2 clamps that wrap around the seat mounting moulding must be really tight, the pin inside, through the tube is just for positioning, it is not to take loading. The pin should be in the highest position possible, nearest the seat.

Bike fix sell them for £380 which is reasonable, but obviously the full price.
bikefix.co.uk/index.php?uniq … de=buy#a84

Thanks for all those tips, Human Amp.

I didn’t know about the pin inside the plastic seat tube. I realised when I slid it up that there was some kind of ratchet in there, but I didn’t disassemble the shroud / tube part, only loosening it and sliding it up a couple of inches.

Cheers - and yes the seller you pointed me to is certainly selling at a better price than the local place.

Vulcan bomber… :slight_smile: I can actually remember them being current stuff - and Canberas too.

I bought a strida5 fake with a big S on the front in china for 100 USD. I noticed a crack in the bottom bracket when I got off the plane back in the states. It is plastic. It still worked but felt loose. Then I noticed that it was a big mistake for me to take the kickstand off because this is part of the elliptical belt tensioning mech. So I put it on and it worked for a while but eventually cracked in half completely and is not ridable. I want to replace this part but don’t know where to get one. Would a strida 5 bracket fit. Are the real ones plastic steel or aluminum? It looks like the shaft of mine is From a regular bike, is that how the genuine ones are?

I think most parts are interchangeable - several people on here have added genuine wheels etc. onto copy stridas with good improvements. I guess you should just ask to buy the parts as if they are from a real Strida. If any of the structural parts are damaged eg bottom tube - it might be worth replacing that whole part. It looks like fakes are strictly for those of us who dont mind tinkering and upgrading, good savings if if you have plenty of spare time and spanner skills.